Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we have a trio of films directed by Lewis Milestone, with pairings to match.
Lewis Milestone was a Russian-American director who barely escaped a career in engineering. That’s what his parents wanted him to do. Actually they would have preferred anything to the movie biz, but flunking out of slide rule school led to Milestone’s “coming to America” moment. At long last – Hollywood! Well, after a stopover in Hoboken, anyway.
Milestone’s Rain came along in 1932, when he was hot off his job with The Front Page and just a couple of years following his Oscar win. Rain was universally panned for its slow pace and even Milestone himself didn’t care for it. He found out the hard way that just because the movies could now talk, that alone wasn’t enough.
California’s Mojave Rain Winery promises an oasis in the desert, but their three wines come from the North Coast and Paso Robles. That California bear on the label doesn’t look like a desert denizen, either, but the wines are all priced right around $25. Plus, rain is always welcome in the desert.
After a half dozen silent movies, 1930’s All Quiet on the Western Front was Milestone’s first real directing effort of the sound era – if you don’t count New York Nights, which stunk so bad he requested anonymity from it. That was okay. All Quiet garnered Milestone an Oscar for best director.
A movie about a German kid who thinks the war was a big game – until he gets a close-up look at it – deserves a German wine. Rather than the obvious – a Riesling – let’s get one that really sounds German – Spätburgunder. Gesundheit. If you like Pinot Noir, you’ll love Spätburgunder, because that’s the German word for the Pinot Noir grape. Plus, it’s fun to try and say it with a bit of the wine still in your mouth.
Often referred to as a “Hollywood disaster,” 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty has Milestone listed as director even though star Marlon Brando staged a mutiny of his own and hijacked the picture. It’s a remake of the 1935 classic and the last feature film which would bear Milestone’s name as director.
What’s a mutiny without a sword? And what Italian name means sword? Brando. There, a link between the movie and the wine was fashioned without too much stretching. Brando Wine is mostly Italian Cabernet Franc, aged in stainless steel, so it’s got to be worth a sip or two if you can find it.